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Cross-species friendships

These 'unadoptable' cats caught a break when Shelter Me Inc found them barn homes where they made some unexpected, but close friendships, and lived happily ever after.
These 'unadoptable' cats caught a break when Shelter Me Inc found them barn homes where they made some unexpected, but close friendships, and lived happily ever after.
Brian Ciavolo

Five years ago, Shelter Me Inc established a barn cat program to re-home a group of seven otherwise "unadoptable" cats at Gardner Animal Control. In the years that followed, Shelter Me went on to place 130 more cats in barns across Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. Along the way, barn owners sent us countless pictures; our favorites among them include photographs of barn cats making friends with dogs, horses, and alpacas. It has never ceased to amaze us that a couple of feral kittens born on the streets of Boston, for example, could become best friends with a herd of alpacas. But we have the pictures that prove it (kindly shared with us by a barn owner in Ashby named Pam Welty). Our favorite is the featured photograph in this story.**

The barn cat is greeting a newborn alpaca on a farm in Ashby, MA
Pam Welty

We also have some wonderful pictures of horses making friends with cats and of course, lots of pictures of cats making friends with dogs. That famous old expression, 'fighting like cats and dogs' has no currency here. Don't believe it? Check out the slide show.

**(You can see a movie about the barn cats and their alpaca friends on the Shelter Me Inc website if you click here.)